Demonstrations - 240/12
Dated: 07 Jun 2011
Date of request: 29/02/2012
Date of response: 27/03/2012
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 29 February 2012 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
How much was spent on policing demonstrations between 1 January 2011 and 1 January 2012?
How many officers were used during these events?
How many arrests were made for protests between these dates?
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
As advised in your acknowledgment on 1 March 2012, this request has been aggregated with your similar request, FOI 241/12 refers, due to cost and time considerations under the Acts legislation.
A subsequent request was received on 12 March 2012 again on the same subject matter and this has also been taken into consideration due to time and cost implications.
The Fees Regulations state that two or more requests to one public authority can be aggregated for the purposes of calculating costs if they are:
· by one person, or by different persons who appear to the public authority
· to be acting in concert or in pursuance of a campaign;
· for the same or similar information; and
· the subsequent request is received by the public authority within 60 working days of the previous request.
The intention of this provision is to prevent individuals or organisations evading the appropriate limit by dividing a request into smaller parts.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Operations Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police, however can not be disclosed for the following reason.
There are many hundreds of demonstrations held in the Northumbria Police force area each year and this information is not held centrally nor in an easily retrievable format. To extract information specific to your request would entail a member of staff at each of the six Area Commands and both the Operations and Finance Departments searching both electronic and paper based records held for each operation to extract the details you have requested. We have estimated that to extract this information would take over the prescribed 18 hours, therefore Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act would apply. This section does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimated that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit of 18 hours, equating to £450.00
You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for that part of your request.
When applying Section 12 exemption our duty to assist under Section 16 of the Act would normally entail that we contact you to determine whether it is possible to refine the scope of your request to bring it within the cost limits. However, from the information we have outlined above I see no reasonable way in which we can do so.
You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish information that has been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 via the Disclosure Log. The aim of the Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the public arena.
Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the public interest. The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester. I have provided the relevant link below:-
The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police. Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation. In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.
How to complain
If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp
If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.